At a Remembrance Day ceremony in Tel Aviv Monday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke of the great pain of losing a loved one, the security challenges that Israel continues to face, and the moral imperative for the state to fight the acts of vandalism against Arab property known as "Price tags."
Speaking to families of fallen soldiers at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery, Ya'alon said that the name on every tombstone represented an entire world that was lost and that won't come back.
"Every fallen soldier was an entire world and every family left to pick up the pieces and return in some way to normal life is also a world unto itself," Ya'alon said
The Defense Minister commended the tenacity of the mourning families in the face of their personal tragedies.
"Your ability to cope and your return to creative and productive life, despite the difficulty and the gaping void left by your loss, is the height of bravery and is an important example for all of us," he said.
Ya'alon spoke about the security challenges still faces saying that Israel would not be deterred by states and organizations who set out to kill "Jews only because they are Jews."
"We will courageously face every challenge and threat that we encounter and we will succeed if we remain steadfast, and unified."
"The might of the IDF and of the security branches are great," the defense minister said.
Ya'alon stressed that Israel's values are its guiding light and that it had an "obligation to fight with an iron fist" the phenomenon known as "price tag" attacks.
Price tags are incidents of vandalism carried out by Right-wing extremist Jews against Arabs both in the West Bank and in Israel proper. The frequency of the attacks has increased over the past few months.
"Price tags are an ugly phenomenon that have no connection with the Jewish values. They are meant to harm Arabs only because they are Arabs," Ya'alon said.